Postpartum recovery weeks 2-3

In the second to third week postpartum I continued to only focus on light movement of 5–10-minute intervals, maybe once or twice a day. My sole focus was trying to rest, when possible, stay hydrated and fed while taking care of my son. I incorporated movement when I needed to be in fresh air or sometimes when I was trying to soothe him back to sleep.  Never feel pressured or shame if you are not ready to move, everyone’s postpartum experience is different, and this blog is meant as a gentle to guide and starting point if you are looking for safe ways to start moving after vaginal and cesarian delivery.

Week 2-3 Exercise Progression:

  1. Walking
    • I started with walking around my parents pool 3-5 laps and using a short stride because I was recovering from a cesarian delivery.
    • As I felt comfortable I continued with backwards walking and side walking for 5-10 minutes
    • At the end of week 2, I felt comfortable enough to walk to the end of the block and back with my abdominal binder
  2. Weight shifting in a quarter squat position – the depth of each movement is unlocking the hips with a slight knee bend
    • Quarter body weight squat
      • Focus is all on maintaining breath in the depth of the up and down phase
      • Spreading the floor with my feet
      • 5-10 reps max, 3-5 second pause at bottom
  3. Pelvic Tilts
    • Lying in bed with my knees bent and feet on the bed
    • Small tilting of my pelvis
      • Anterior pelvic tilt: focus on moving your pubic bone towards your belly button
      • Posterior pelvic tilt: focus on moving your tailbone towards the bed
      • As you feel comfortable sink your inhale with the anterior pelvic tilt and posterior pelvic tilt with your exhale
  4. Upper Body
    • Body weight wall angel
    • Body weight row
      • 5-10 reps, slow and controlled
      • Try to maintain length of your spine around the region of your bra strap
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Cesarian Scar Desensitization

At week two postpartum I also began feeling comfortable with initiating scar tissue desensitization. It can be scary to look or have a material or physical touch to a healing incision. If you go too long avoiding movement or contact to the area muscle guarding and pain can occur in the long run. Desensitization is different than massage and stretching, avoid doing those things until after 8 weeks postpartum, scar tissue is not a bad thing and you want it to occur to have strong and healed incision. I highly recommend reviewing Dr. Lindsay Brunner’s post on Cesarian Scar Mobilization when it is appropriate in your recovery timeline.

Desensitization is using touch, after washing my hands I placed my hands over my scar and would breathe into the area, I would do this for only as long as I was comfortable and a few times a day. Ways to build on desensitization are with different textures, for example, your sheets or clothes. Finally, you can also have your partner gently place their hand on your incision. The goal is to introduce stimulation to the area that is non painful or threatening so that your brain does not create a pattern of needing to over protect the incision.

I hope these tips were useful. If you are looking for more one on one guidance and support MOTI Physiotherapy has a Pelvic Floor team that has an expertise in pregnant and postpartum population. We offer in person and telehealth visits that are covered by insurance. Do not wait for your first postpartum checkup if you are starting to experience pain from the new demands of motherhood. Our Pelvic Floor Doctor’s of Physical Therapy can guide you through a personalized plan of care that will support you!

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